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12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

It’s easy to use museum admission prices as an excuse to stay home, but these suggestions will change your mind.

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

The Norton Museum of Art is a worthwhile place to spend a couple of hours if you’re feeling like doing something good for yourself and your loved ones. The goal of a museum is to promote the enjoyment of authentic culture through valuable objects and works. This is exactly what you will experience at our world-class, recently renovated local arts campus.

There are so many things to see at the museum that it’s difficult to know where to begin. But as our curiosity is often larger than what our brains can handle, here are 12 reasons why you should really make a trip to the Norton this week.

1- It’s free on Saturdays for West Palm Beach residents.

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

Sunday through Thursday, the Norton Museum of Art general admission is $18 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. But due to the generosity of the Lunder Foundation of the Peter and Paula Lunder Family, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Damon and Katherine Mezzacappa, admission to the museum is free every Saturday for the city of West Palm Beach residents.

In addition to the variety of exhibits, Fridays are particularly enjoyable because of the Museums’ weekly Art After Dark program, where guests can see exhibitions, take part in art activities, enjoy a performance, concert, or film, and much more. On Saturdays, you can explore the museum and feel inspired by art.

2 – Free admission if you came via Brightline

Brightline High-Speed Train Service

If you are coming via Brightline from one of our neighboring cities, a round trip will get you free admission to the Norton. All you have to do is show your Brightline ticket within three days of your departure date.

But, hurry. This offer is only available for a limited time.

3- The Norton’s entrance is iconic for a first photo

The new grand entryway has a huge 43-foot high aluminum overhang, an overhang cutaway to accommodate an enormous 80-year-old banyan tree, and a reflecting pool that houses a clever sculpture by Claes Oldenburg called “Typewriter Eraser, Scale X”

It is really a challenge to miss the 19-foot-4-inch tall Typewriter Eraser, Scale X standing jauntily on the pool, upending a conventional relationship between viewer and subject. This sculpture evokes real enjoyment for art and culture and is undoubtedly the most stunning backdrop for a photo while at the Norton.

4- The Chinese collection

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

The collection of Chinese art at the museum is impressive with more than 700 objects including ancient jade and bronze. Also included are imperial jade and hardstone carvings, and other significant works of art illustrating the aesthetic values, technical achievements, and cultural beliefs of China.

You will see ceramics, lacquer, metalwork, paintings, sculptures, and textiles that were produced over a span of approximately 5,000 years. So if you have heard of the Qing dynasty, you will be thrilled to see objects representing that significant period of Chinese prominence in the 1700s.

5- The Persian Sealife Ceiling

Be prepared to look up and be dazzled by another favorite of Norton’s visitors.

This installation by Dale Chihuly, an American glass sculptor with outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass, is made of many individual elements taking the form of sea life. The spacious area where the installation is and the lighting that fills it allow the elements to shimmer on the surrounding walls for spectacular viewing.

6- Large paintings

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

Find yourself in the midst of a gallery with large canvases of paintings like a recent acquisition from Jeff Koons’ Antiquity series. Antiquity is a painting with a background that depicts a patchwork of two paintings separated by 400 years—Titan’s Venus and Adonis and Pablo Picasso’s Le Baiser (The Kiss).

In this work, Koons overlays a childlike drawing of female anatomy – Aphrodite – over the vast expanse of the composition.

7- Give it a ‘Cosmic Gaze’

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

Take a moment to sit back and gaze at partially silvered crystal spheres made of stainless steel on a laminated wood painted in black.

This is an art installation by Olafur Eliasson, who has long explored the relationship between art and science. He put together more than 300 glass orbs of various sizes that appear to float off a dark background in nebulae-like clusters. If you get closer, you will notice how the orbs reflect inverted, condensed images that mimic your movements and the surroundings.

8- suspendedburstcrushedbox

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

No, there’s no typo.

This is large polystyrene cardboard painted using polyvinyl acetate, steel, and fabrics by RAW artist Phyllia Barlow hanging from one of Norton’s galleries. It will encourage you to have an individual experience of the materials and the effect each sculpture has in the space in which it is discovered.

Beware. It has a strip of red fabric that may give you the impression that it was forgotten or misplaced. So, remember, “do not touch.”

9- Rotating exhibits

Saul Steinberg: A Writer Who Draws

Every now and then, one exhibit is taken down, and another replaces it.

Besides Norton’s permanent exhibitions, there’s so much to see here as the museum throughout the year hosts different touring exhibits. Happening this year is an exhibition that celebrates Doris and Shouky Shaheen’s recent gift of twelve American oils and watercolors to the Norton Museum of Art. Ranging in style from Impressionism to Realism, the works demonstrate how American painters continued to depict the nation’s distinctive and evolving landscape from the late 19th into the 20th century.

Jane Peterson: Impressions of Light and Water exhibit celebrates Norton’s strong collection of work by American Impressionist Jane Peterson.

And especially, Saul Steinberg: A Writer Who Draws. The Norton recently received from The Saul Steinberg Foundation a generous gift of 22 drawings and one print, the first works by the artist to enter the Museum’s collection. They span Steinberg’s career and, as a group, provide a small retrospective of his drawings. Famed for his work at The New Yorker, Steinberg was nevertheless a singularly gifted artist with a sharp eye for the incongruous, which he recorded with sympathy and wit.

You can find here all exhibits happening this year.

10- Ceramic castles, mermaids, and Japanese bridges

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

A three-story installation sprinkles over 6,000 pieces of hand-poured glass up the walls of a staircase that leads to new galleries. ‘I Remember Ceramic Castles, Mermaids & Japanese Bridges‘ is the actual title of the work which is spelled out on the wall at the landing of the ground floor level, with thousands more glass shapes that resemble sea spray in silver and cerulean blue shimmering their way up the stair.

This is another must-take photo (selfie) opportunity when you visit before heading out to the redesigned Norton’s garden.

11- The Gardens

The centerpiece of the Norton Museum transformation is the Pamela and Robert B. Goergen Garden with abundant trees and plantings in different sections arranged axially across the main building. The garden provides an amazing view from inside its glass and steel colonnade in the main building.

There are large-scale sculptures, among them Antony Gormley’s “Total Strangers,” three cast-iron, life-size human figures facing in opposite directions on the lawn. There are also walking paths and benches that beckon viewers to stroll and take it all in.

12- Eat with a view

12 Reasons to Visit the Norton Museum of Art this Week

At the far end of the lawn is the new restaurant, a sleek 165-seat fine-dining eatery that has outdoor terrace seating, private dining rooms in the back, and a bar.

No matter where you sit, you get views of the gardens and lush landscaping.

The menu is moderately priced. They serve brunch and lunch seven days a week and dinner on Fridays in conjunction with other events. The restaurant serves modern American fare that includes dishes relatively familiar—Mahi Taco, Roasted Beet Salads, Chicken Club Sandwich, Quiche, Burger— but executed with style.

So, now you know. A visit to the Norton this week will be something to enjoy.

Sometimes we use a museum admission price as an excuse to stay at home, but hopefully, knowing that the Norton is free on Saturdays for City of West Palm Beach residents, plus the above-mentioned array of suggested things to do, exhibits, and activities, the experience will become a meaningful part of your identity and love for the arts.

If you visit the Norton Museum this week, check for any special events. The museum is located at 1450 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, 33401; and their phone number is (561) 832-5196.

visit the Norton Museum of Art this week

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